Would you buy a used Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by HXGuy, May 20, 2011.

  1. HXGuy macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    I was ready to order a 2010 2.8GHz Quad Core Refurbished from Apple (as soon as one came available, none are listed on their site at the moment) but then I did a quick search on Craigslist and found this...

    Quad Core 2.93Ghz Mac Pro
    16 GB RAM (which I just ordred for $260)
    2TB HDD (which I just ordered for $130)
    512MB Nvidia Graphics
    2 Year Apple Care


    The refurbished 2.8Ghz was going to run me $2316 (w/tax) plus the 2TB HDD and RAM would have been another $390 for a $2706 total. This is $706 cheaper, has a better processor and better warranty...just the video card isn't as good.

    What do you guys think?
  2. W1MRK macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    I am a iMac user but I would say that sounds like a good deal. Correct me if I am wrong but isn't the GPU upgradable also? Its a PCI setup correct or Express PCI? Not a bad deal at all.
  3. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I'm guessing it's a 2009. Seems like a reasonable deal to me if it's not hot and if you can return the items you ordered.

    It might not have wi-fi. Apple Care might be fake if the owner bought it on Ebay or some such.
  4. HXGuy thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    I'm on the way now to buy it.

    The seller seems legit, searched his phone nr. on Google and it links to a local business with a physical address. Seems like a big company. About Applecare he said we need to call Apple when I get there to transfer it.
  5. HXGuy thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    Ok, bought!

    I called Apple and verified the serial
    number for AppleCare and it has 770 days left! :)

    One odd thing, I checked the Syetem Info and it shows 4GB x 4 but the first module I saw when I opened it up says 8GB on it. What's up with that?
  6. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    Like someone else said, it may not have wifi. All the 2010s come with wifi built in but the 2009s didn't.
  7. HXGuy thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    You could try running the stick marked at 8GB on it's own (may need to try different DIMM slots if re-seating it doesn't change anything), and see what the system shows. It may be mis-marked, or there is some other issue.
  9. tamvly macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2007
  10. HXGuy thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    Yea I haven't had a chance to even reopen the box, I got home and had to leave but I want to check the rest of the sticks and see what it says on them.

    Does the 2009 Mac Pro support more than 16GB? Would y it be wild if it has 4 x 8GB sticks?
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Yes, it can run more than 16GB. :) There's users already running 32GB via 4 * 8GB RDIMM's, and larger versions have recently released (16GB and 32GB RDIMM's are now available from Samsung as well).

    If it actually has 32GB, you've a beast for $2k (not sure what it came with, so I can't be sure what the 16GB you ordered will bring it to, or if there's issues with the type; that is, some may be UDIMM and some RDIMM, which cannot be mixed).

    BTW, 8GB sticks are usually RDIMM's, though Samsung came out with 8GB UDIMM's awhile back (look for a Samsung label, and check the P/N to see what it actually is).
  12. cjgonzales1900, May 20, 2011
    Last edited: May 20, 2011

    cjgonzales1900 macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2009
    All you have to do to check if it is, call 1-800-myapple and give them the serial and ask it its covered.
    Great job. I also just got a mac pro today lol welcome to the club!
  13. HXGuy thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    I'll check when I get home but I can't think if why the memory stick would say 8GB on it bit the system say it's a 4GB stick. Could it really be labeled wrong? Does that happen?
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I've seen it happen a few times, so it's not an impossibility. :eek:
  15. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    Id make sure to transfer the registration to your name, to ensure that the machine you have with AppleCare does not get a prorated refund and the buyers walks off with more $.

    Not saying the buyer isnt legit, but you never know. and ensures if you ever had to bring it or call AppleCare its all set.

    Sounds like a great machine, cant wait to get my MacPro in the near future.
  16. HXGuy, May 21, 2011
    Last edited: May 21, 2011

    HXGuy thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    Yea, already got it transfered to my name while I was there buying it. Everything is good to go on that end, like I said, 770 days left on the Applecare.

    I just got home now, it's 1am but I had to tinker with it a bit. I pulled out the 2TB HDD to see what it has and it's a Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB...which looking online is a 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 6Gb/s HDD...seems pretty good.

    I pulled all the RAM sticks and they are all Patriot Memory PS38G13ER2K-E 8GB PC3 - 10600 CL9. So why is the System Profile showing a total of 16GB if it has 4 x 8GB sticks? I haven't fired it up yet at home but I'm going to just leave 2 sticks in and see what it says.

    Edit: Ok, it also says "ECC Reg (2x4GB) Kit on the RAM sticks...so is the 8GB just the total of the "kit"?

    Edit 2: Yep, looking up the part number on Google, the kit is 8GB but it's made up for 2x4GB sticks.

    Am I missing something with this memory? Is it really good for something because it sells for $277 on Amazon.com for one kit (2x4GB). That's more than double the price of the OWC memory I have on order which was $260 for 4x4GB sticks.

    Edit 3: The hard drive seems pretty legit after I looked it up online. Found it on a site for $176...seems better than the $130 WD 2TB i had ordered. That was also a 7200 RPM HDD but only 32MB Cache vs 64MB that this has.

    I think I did pretty well with this purchase. :) Now I have to wait until the two SSD drives I ordered from Newegg and OWC come in before I can actually set this up and use it.
  17. HXGuy thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    Ok it's almost 2am...gotta check out soon here but a couple more details...

    The computer has two DVD drives installed. Is that pretty usual for Mac Pros?
    Then, I ran GeekBench and it seemed a little low I thought. the 64-bit scored 9420 and the 32-bit scored 8772. Do those numbers pretty normal for Quad Core Xeon 2.93Ghz with 16GB RAM?

    Finally, do you guys think I would benefit from changing out the video card? It came with the Nvidia GeForce GT 120 512MB memory. All the computer is used for (aside from email/web browsing) is for graphic design using Photoshop/Illustrator/QuarkXpress. Absolutely no video editing or games. Would a better video card have any noticeable benefit?

    Oh yea, and it does have WiFi.
    Also, one thing that surprised me...the 30" Apple display I have...the Firewire cable doesn't fit anywhere! I guess the Apple display has Firewire 400 ports and this has Firewire 800? There has to be some sort of adapter out there to fit...but is FW800 backward compatible with FW400?
  18. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Second DVD drive is a bonus, it normally comes with one.

    The GeekBench numbers seem to be ok, I get about the same with my 2010 2.8 ghz quad.

    For plain graphic design you won't benefit from a better gpu.

    Since the 2009 revision Mac Pros have no more firewire 400 built in. I got an adapter like this for 10 bucks, works perfectly.

  19. HXGuy thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    Last post for tonight...

    I ran a Software Update and it had a crapload of software to update, including OSX. It had 10.6.2 running on it and I now updated it to 10.6.7.

    Rebooted and ran Geekbench again and it did a much more respectable and in-line with other results online of 10174 in 64-bit mode and 9222 in 32-bit mode. Pre-software update the numbers again were 9420 in 64-bit mode and 8772 in 32-bit mode.
  20. HXGuy thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    I'll have to pull the 2nd drive as I'm going to be running 5 HDDs (2 SSD and 3 HDD) in the system, one going in the spot of one of the DVD drives. Don't really see much use of having 2 DVD drives ever...I guess for burning one disk directly to another? I have never ran into a situation where I need to do that.

    I'm very pleased that this seems like a pretty solid purchase. Thanks for all the tips and helps. :)
  21. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    Not that you need to do this but the cpu has two upgrade paths. it will use quad core cpus


    the w3500 series are all easy drop ins you have this model cpu w3540


    the one below gives good value and a more then 10 percent cpu boost



    the second path is to flash your cpu board to accept hex cores.

    there is a thread on this site that shows how to make you machine use hex cores it is a bit more difficult but it would allow your machine to get a 40 percent boost in geekbench scores. my hex 3.2 gets 15200 to 15500 in 64 bit mode.
  22. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Not really "more difficult" as it's just running the update tool prior to installing the hex core (which is exactly the same procedure as for the quad).

    However, there are some reports of this hack not working with Lion.
    I advise anyone who wants to to this hack to read this thread.
  23. HXGuy thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    I think the 2.93Ghz will be fine for a long while. Thanks for the heads up though.

    Another weird thing while messing with the computer again this morning...the 2TB HDD isn't even formatted. It's installed and shows up in Disk Utility but doesn't show up on the desktop. I need to format it and make sure it actually works...but I figure it should if it shows up in Disk Utility.
  24. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    most likely the 2tb hdd was fully erased by the previous owner.
    thus the lack of format.
  25. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Most third party hard drive are formatted NTFS for Windows. Just use Disk Utility to format any third party drive you get.

    As for usefulness your going to love using HandBrake and MakeMKV (for Blu-Ray). These programs use ALL you cores and memory.

    Plus with the Mac Pro slowly buy more and more RAM. You don't have to buy everything off everything at once. Plus take a look at this driverless EStATA card because for me it work flawlessly for my two eSATA externals!

    My 20008 D Mac Pro with 14G of memory screams through a DVD (2 hour movie) in less than 20 minutes. Then with Logic I can scream through my recordings with ease.

    One last thing is maybe in the near future deinstall a DVD drive and put a SSD bracket with an SSD for a Boot drive and watch you Mac Pro startup scream.

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